CHAUFFEUR by VINNY LUNAR and LOW BEAMS | Creative Direction, Design & Music Production
The concept of the EP is firstly about subverting the norm to present a different viewpoint on living in Australia. What would it be like if a white guy was the brown guy’s driver for a change? Low Beams provides the vehicle with a mix of chillwave, R&B, and electronic dance music for Vinny to channel his stories about identity, racism, and growing up in white Australia. Heavy themes that are too commonly shared amongst us but for all the gravitas Vinny & Low Beams have made a banging EP that is so very satisfying to listen to.
Combining Low Beams' aesthetic and love for cars with Vinny Lunar's Cultural Heritage, I created a series of 3D artworks using the classic Indian Ambassador taxi as the centrepiece, then matching colours and scenes to visually represent the themes and mood of each song from the EP.
3D Animation by Phillip Hensel
Photography by Simone Taylor
Mixing By Recep Uenel
Mastering by Polybonk
We’re starting on an immediate high with “On The Outside”. The beat on this track is so deliciously deep and smooth. Vinny sings about wanting to expand his world, “I’m made choices I’ve grown out, I’ve been making my own route, living up in my own cloud, galaxies and I’m inbound.” Vinny’s melodic vocals match up with Low Beams ability to produce a rhythm line that keeps things light with the track being a total bop and slick way to kick off our journey.
Taking elements from Vinny’s Indian background “Hai Rama” is infused with indie pop and infectious rhythms. Vinny and Low Beams work seamlessly together to craft a song that sounds like it could have come out of Kaytranada’s home studio. Featuring handclaps and a bouncy drumbeat “Hai Rama” becomes unique with Vinny’s style of singing and the pops of tabla in the song. It’s borderless in its genre simply being satisfied to be an electronic R&B dance track that washes over you so effortlessly.
Vinny Lunar & Low Beams decide at this point to be more direct and honest in what’s been going on. With Vinny taking the lead from the front, he sings “I can’t go on like this, hiding my true colours. Can’t keep on faking, no culture, no freedom.” “In My Blood” refers to Vinny’s experience of growing up in a white Australia. Yet despite the hardship, Vinny now realises that his differences may now actually be his strength, “I’ve got rhythm in my blood, I’ve got heritage in my skin.” It’s one of the strongest tracks on the EP showing a vulnerability to Vinny’s songwriting that is supported by Low Beams production.
On this journey, “Chandra” has the vibe of driving down neon-lit city streets at 2am. Given the mantra that Vinny sings throughout, “I need to be alone”, “Chandra” sounds ethereal, the soundscape has been produced to be expansive, conveying a sense of solitude and introspection. The track embraces atmospheric beats with an unhurried groove to create a song that oozes as a liquid dance tune. “Chandra” is the track to put on when you need that easy come down after a long night but like with all good things it ends abruptly announcing that we’ve come to our destination.
The duo ends on a high with the hooky, bright beats of “Jumpin”. It’s a track featuring sunny reverbed synths, Vinny’s bittersweet and reflective lyrics and Low Beam’s dense beats that keep everything moving along briskly. “Jumpin” is a post-disco, synth-electro hybrid dance track but all that you’ll need to know is that this will get your body moving. Given the concept Vinny Lunar and Low Beams conclude the EP, not with a resolute answer but an understanding that the journey continues still. Still, there is a quiet optimism that glows from “Jumpin’” and “Chauffeur” as a whole EP that will have you groovin’ from the first play.